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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have 30% of the circumference of one tire's outside edge worn bald. All of the other three tires outside edges are worn evenly at 39K on the stock Contis. The tire with 1/3 circumference of the outside edge worn down is on the drivers side.

I have at lest 10-15k life left on the 3 evenly worn tires.

There is a slight positive camber accounting for the bit of outside wear on all the tires. They have been balanced and rotated very regularly every 5K after the first 10K.

I did have my driver's side strut leak and was replaced under warranty.

I don't think the compromised strut accounts for the strange bald portion of the one tire's outside edge. Nothing on the internet has yielded anything and the techs and managers where I get my car aligned were not helpful in diagnosing the problem.

Either it was a balancing issue, a hard skid brake that I have no recollection of, or a defective tire.

Any insights on this one tire's anomalous wear pattern would be appreciated.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R Limited, Black Silica
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383 Posts
I heard of Conti's being out of round before, and not able to balance. Odds are it's the tire that is the issue.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
Have you had it aligned since the issue?
Was the balding tire on the drivers side front?

I did have my driver's side strut leak and was replaced under warranty.
Strut can cause poor tire wear.
And the top strut mount bolt affects alignment - they may have goofed it.

At such low mileage you should have never had an alignment yet unless there's a very compelling reason.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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Discussion Starter #4
Have you had it aligned since the issue?
Was the balding tire on the drivers side front?

Strut can cause poor tire wear.
And the top strut mount bolt affects alignment - they may have goofed it.

At such low mileage you should have never had an alignment yet unless there's a very compelling reason.
Had it alligned by the dealer and firestone. The tire has been rotated back to front most recently. I noticed it first on the back, but speculate that the issue may have started on the front. The edge is bald on a portion of the circumference.

The leaking strut may have had something to do with it, but I don't know how. More positive camber would have peeled off the whole edge, but it is more severe on the patch where it is bald and grooves are gone, wereas they remain on the rest of the tire albeit the remaining grooves are going fast.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,036 Posts
Once a tire starts to wear unevenly, it will continue to wear unevenly. Though you think you caught the bad strut in time it already caused that tire to develop an abnormal wear pattern. And once it started to wear in that pattern, it just kept going.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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Discussion Starter #6
Once a tire starts to wear unevenly, it will continue to wear unevenly. Though you think you caught the bad strut in time it already caused that tire to develop an abnormal wear pattern. And once it started to wear in that pattern, it just kept going.
True. Though I am not sure the leaky strut was the culprit, but it sounds like it could have been if it was not recovering fully and accentuating the slightly positive camber. Slightly positive camber may have been a part of it, but I am wondering why it wore irregularly around the outside edge with one portion wearing more than most of it? At almost 40k part of it may be my driving especially after reading how some are getting over 70k out of their stock contis?
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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True. Though I am not sure the leaky strut was the culprit, but it sounds like it could have been if it was not recovering fully and accentuating the slightly positive camber. Slightly positive camber may have been a part of it, but I am wondering why it wore irregularly around the outside edge with one portion wearing more than most of it? At almost 40k part of it may be my driving especially after reading how some are getting over 70k out of their stock contis?
Mileage on tires varies VASTLY based on the area you live in, where you drive, and how you drive. If you drive primarily on the highway you will get much better mileage than someone who drives primarily in the city. Around here, we have these things called hills. A lot of people say "Pssh, I have hills where I live too". Not really... Western PA is nothing but rolling hill after rolling hill. Lots of bends, twists, inclines, etc that over time DESTROY tires. Start and stop just wears them out. A customer of mine got a whopping 15,000 miles out 0f the OEM Michelins on his Hyundai Sonata. Typically, if you get 30k out of your OEM tires in this area, you are doing phenomenal.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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Discussion Starter #8
Good Points. Grandparents met at Theil College which is a little NW of you in your neck of the hilly woods. I drove through PA a few times when I lived in MI. Great Grandpa went to Gettysburg Seminary on the other side of PA. How many civil war buffs will be out there this July? Going to be in the hundreds of thousands for the sesquicentenial I will bet.

I am not so confounded by the fact that they are wearing down, but rather that one is worn out pretty much in the one spot. I just want to get even wear on all fours by proper balance, rotation and alignment and am trying to figure out if I screwed up the maintenance (balance, rotation, camber, cross camber), or is the one tire is a stinker, or if the strut is culpable.

My driving is start-stop daily city, on and off the freeway, lots of turns from high to low speed on non so good industrially zoned city streets subjected to lots of heavy semi traffic, and on the weekends it is up the s -turns into elevation and back down with a wee bit of unpaved beach and forest roads consisting of sand, gravel, with a few rocks to boot. It has been put through more extreme measures a few times on ATV roads where the car and tires had no business being, which could have led to the strut's early demise, though a few members here have said that premature strut failure is not uncommon on the GEN 4.1 OB.

The stockers have been fully put through the ringer and I hate to admit it but recently in bad snow /slush/ ice the old (slicks) got to wear cables after sliding downhill under power in first (NO BRAKES). Don't tell SOA. No problem with the cables. A jeep with snows was off the road flipped and several 4wd trucks had slid off the canyon road shoulder so I felt better safe than sorry.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Typically, if you get 30k out of your OEM tires in this area, you are doing phenomenal.
really? okay well, my tires seem to wear very fast....and I live in unmaintained WV roads with steep switchbacks, gravel roads, rutted up roads...not just bad roads...but really bad considering they're my daily commute. by winters end (it's already happened now) the black top is gone in some areas and it's just nasty rutted mud...mixed with left over black top here and there...

so this eats up tires at a considerably faster rate? makes sense i just didn't think it'd make that huge of a difference but maybe it does. 30k seems unlikely to get for me.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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really? okay well, my tires seem to wear very fast....and I live in unmaintained WV roads with steep switchbacks, gravel roads, rutted up roads...not just bad roads...but really bad considering they're my daily commute. by winters end (it's already happened now) the black top is gone in some areas and it's just nasty rutted mud...mixed with left over black top here and there...

so this eats up tires at a considerably faster rate? makes sense i just didn't think it'd make that huge of a difference but maybe it does. 30k seems unlikely to get for me.
Sounds about right. 30K on OEMs, as I said, is phenomenal. We see a lot of 20-25K on original sets. We had a customer at work that we put a set of Yokohama Geolander HTS on his Nissan XTerra. First set he got 60K out of. Second set he got about 25K out of. Huge difference, right? I asked him if his commute changed. Sure enough, his commute was all highway when he bought the first set, whereas recently his commute turned into all city.
 

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thanks. guess that explains how quickly i seem to go through them, the roads i drive are horrific. it annoys me too, how little i pay for our vehicles, tires are a hard thing for me to pull the trigger on, LOL
 

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To get more than 50K of safe winter tread life out of the Conti you must be driving on new low friction paved highways. No freaking way any of my tires will do 70K on any of my vehicles. Maybe the BFG TK/O's but those are very hard compound rubber tires not the soft squishy car tires we put on the OB.

For sure gravel and rough roads chew up the tires even more.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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Discussion Starter #13
40K and out on the all seasons seems to be the norm. Outliers at 60-70k per set are doing something different or just driving real gentle roads.
 
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